Most soldiers can’t tell you precisely how much death is on their ledger. In battle conditions, there’s often a great deal of indiscriminate firing. But in the age of Apaches and laptops, everything I did in the course of two combat tours was recorded, time-stamped. I could always say precisely how many enemy combatants I’d killed. And I felt it vital never to shy away from that number. Among the many things I learned in the Army, accountability was near the top of the list.
So, my number: Twenty-five. It wasn’t a number that gave me any satisfaction. But neither was it a number that made me feel ashamed. Naturally, I’d have preferred not to have that number on my military CV, on my mind, but by the same token I’d have preferred to live in a world in which there was no Taliban, a world without war. Even for an occasional practitioner of magical thinking like me, however, some realities just can’t be changed.
An excerpt from Prince Harry’s book ‘Spare’
In your opinion, did Harry boast? Would you boast about deaths that have been time-stamped and chronicled on video for all eternity where the precision of a search engine can bring back memories best forgotten?
We live in an age of social media where some ‘dumb’ thing we said 10 years ago can come back and haunt us when our detractors and enemies are determined to crucify us on a cross of political correctness regardless of how much growth we have made. Is this a world we want to live in? No? Well, this is a world we are making for ourselves if we continue down this path. We have to do better and we have to start doing better from right now.